Google stopped showing prominent Google+ links at top of search results homepage and Gmail, says a report from 9to5Google. The move reflects the firm’s intention to gradually focus less on its social network.
Is Google+ dead?
According to a 9to5Google report, users can still visit their Google+ account by clicking the grid icon, which lists various other apps.
Confirming the changes, a company spokeswoman told the Verge via email, “Today we began rolling out a couple of changes to our main Google navigation bar in order to simplify the user interface.”
Google+ was launched in 2011, but could not effectively compete with Facebook and Twitter. The search engine giant has been working towards optimizing the app over the past few months, removing Google+ shares collections feature, bringing in a new collections feature and segregating Google+ into separate products such as photos and streams. A week ago, the company rolled over Google Photos, a standalone app based on the photo component of Google+. Executives at the company explained it is designed as a standalone app.
Working on improvements
However, Bradley Horowitz, who leads the ersatz social network, said last week that Google+ is not dead, adding “it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time.” Also, when asked what will be the future of its social media app, Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Android, Chrome and Apps, said that the team is working on the social media app, and more will be revealed by the end of this year.
Moreover, when Paul McNamara from NetworkWorld contacted Google’s public relations inquiring whether this change is reflecting the uncertain future of Google+, he got a reply saying “Absolutely Not.” The reply further read that the team is working towards enhancing Google+, and are actively investing in it. Google said that as everyone saw with the launch of collections, the company is focused in making it the best social media platform available. Active Google+ users are discussing topics ranging from homebrewing to steampunk to tarantulas, and the company is dedicated to creating a stronger community based on these connections.
While we might not know what Google is up to right now, we do know that Google+, which was once seen as the future of Google, is currently not much more than just another social media app.